Much has been posted on the Internet about the changes that have been made to the “Gospel Principles” lesson manual that will become the new lesson material for both Relief Society and Priesthood in 2010.
If you haven’t had a chance to read the many changes to church doctrine now found in the new “GP” manual, you can compare the old “GP” with the new revised version here. http://www.mrm.org/gospel-principles
Like an earlier post I made after viewing the Joseph Smith Movie, I’m left to ask the question WHY? Why would the church make such substantial changes to its age old teachings? What would be their motivation? Why are they willing to expose themselves to other critics for making such obvious changes to their doctrine?
It's actually pretty easy to determine the motivation of the church once you look at the changes that have been made to its Gospel Principles lesson manual. You'll note that they are primarily making changes to areas that have become lighting rods of attention from their most agressive evangelical critics.
In lesson 2 and 3, The church has completely caved to its evangelical critics…by eliminating an essential Mormon doctrine … and one of the doctrines that it is criticized the most about…that Satan is Christ’s brother. No longer will the church (at least not in an official setting) teach that Satan and Christ were spirit brothers. Also removed is any hint of a Heavenly Mother.
In lesson 4, Mormon’s are no longer taught that Adam and Eve were the First parents of the entire human race…now they have been relegated to merely “our first parents”. So WHY make this change? Could it be to leave alittle wiggle room for the reality of Evolution? Yeah I think so…
In lesson 47, there seems to be an abandonment of the doctrine of "earning" your eternal reward through good works and movement towards your eternal reward being a gift through Christ...or in other words, "GRACE". Makes me wonder why I used to argue with all those evangelical fundies on my mission...I could have saved myself alot of pain and abuse if I had just waited a few years and allowed the church to officailly conceed the Works vs Grace argument.
The Mormon Church does not live in a vacuum. It can and is influenced by outside pressures. It’s public image is one of its most valued commodities. It appears once again that the church will do anything…even discard many of the foundational doctrines found distasteful by its critic's ...in order to win their approval.
Now to be fair...I must admit that the church more than likly isn't really changing these doctrines...and most seasoned members will still hold onto the original beliefs...but the mere fact that the church is removing these controversal teachings from its lesson manuals...is evidence enough of their desire to water down and further fog non-mormon opinion of themselves.
Arn't you glad that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is unchanging???